Saturday, December 3, 2011

Just Caught A Blue Jay

I'm going to try a shorter post today. Maybe I can post more often this way. As you might be able to see in my pictures, I've been taking a lot of pictures of birds. I got this blue jay in some bad light, so I had to enhance the picture just a bit. I liked the bird too much to not share it.

I'd like to thank all of you who identified the junco in my last post. As soon as I saw the first identification from you I slapped myself in the forehead. I said in the post that I should have known what kind of bird it was. I've seen these little birds before in some of your posts, so I knew I've seen them before.

The problem is that my memory is nonexistent nowadays and my research skills are rusty. I actually saw juncos on one of the online bird guides, but theirs didn't look anything like mine. I thought even then that maybe my bird was a junco, but how could I say so if there was no match? Once identified though, I did a junco search on Google Images and there they were, hundreds of pictures that looked just like my little bird!

I also mentioned in my last post that I was going to go in search of the closest nature park to me, a place called Five Ridge Prairie State Preserve. The place is huge and I know right where it is, but I didn't know where the entrance was. I did my search and still can't find it! After I got back home I found an address for the place, so I'm going to try again in the next few days if the weather doesn't get too bad.

One thing neither you or I will have to search that hard for is all inclusive family holidays. That's because the link is right here. Much easier to find than my hidden nature park, and you won't have to drive a bunch of hilly dirt roads to do it. All it takes is a click of your mouse.

I really wish I would have taken a few pictures for you while I was on my nature park search. The tops of the hills I was driving on offer some spectacular views of the countryside. The problem is that I'm still a city boy so I'm a little nervous driving some of these places. In some areas there is a pretty huge drop, and I like to move on quickly to places where I feel a little safer.

I will definitely get those pictures for you some time in the future. It might not be until spring, but the wait will be well worth it. I guarantee that they'll be some of my best pictures ever. This country around here is the most beautiful I've seen, and I've always thought at an instinctive level that it is home.

I'll be back soon. I hope you liked my rambling little post, ad, bird, hills and all. Oh, the blue jay says, "Bye."


  1. I always like to go with you to all the places.

    I'll do the driving, and you take pictures for us.

  2. Keep exploring Ratty, the city boy will evolve into the country boy and you will love your new self image.

    These are big changes. Take you time. Appreciate them. And take the wonder in.

    I'm freaked out when I go to a city, so I know that change of what we are used to is very difficult.

  3. You've gotten some great poses from the blue jay, Ratty.

    With Rainfield offers to drive and Wild Bill shares his opposite fear with you, I think you are in great companies! :-)

  4. Those Jays have keen eyesight so catch you pointing cameras at them.Good shot.Have you seen the county books for all the IA Counties and areas to go.It sometimes helps to have a few maps in the back roads.

  5. It's hard to catch those blue jays on camera unless you have a feeder! Finding the entrance is turning out to be a fun puzzle of its own!

  6. They are so funny -Bluejays. Watch for how he 'shoots himself in the foot' so to speak. He watches small birds from the distance-especially chickadees. When they discover a seed source the jay will call then come to investigate. Unfortunately , the call alerts other large birds to the source and Mister Jay then spends most of the time chasing off competitors while Chickadee continues to grab seed under his nose (beak)...stash it in the tree bark and is back for more in a flash. Too funny.

  7. I'm happy you have Bluejays there. Wait till the snow comes. Then you will be getting lots of pretty pics! Sounds like you will be going on lots of nature rides and walks soon. It's hard to imagine a city boy being afraid of the country. I'm just the opposite. I'm afraid of cities. They are too fast paced for me and the traffic moves so fast. I've driven through lots of them in my past though. Now I hate to go to the bigger areas and never do unless I have to for a doctor's appointment or something. Take it easy Ratty.

  8. I'm so glad you are starting to settle in a bit and it sure helps to find some interesting things to go see. How exciting to see a Bluejay, I have the same problem trying to capture birds.

  9. You SHOULD take some photos while you are searching - when it comes to photography sometimes the journey makes for more interesting pictures than the destination.

  10. I was watching some cardinals today..I haven't seen a bluejay in a while